Some years ago, after playing a few softball games, I learned that hitting to right field is a advantageous strategy. First, in recreational leagues dominated by right-handed batters, the weaker fielders are often positioned on the right side of the field. It’s not a bad idea to take advantage of any defensive holes. Second and more importantly, hitting the ball to the right side allows baserunners to move around. For example, a runner on first base has a better chance of reaching third base than on a ball hit to the left side.
On Sunday, my friend shot a slow-motion video of one of my at-bats using his iPhone 6 Plus. It’s not an ideal swing as I dipped my right shoulder, in an attempt to delay my swing, and I also hit the ball very close to the handle. Hitting the ball in the air, rather than on a line, was also not ideal. In all, it was a pretty crappy swing.
But the right fielders misjudged the ball, and the ball fell for a base hit. Towards the end of the clip, you can see the third-base coach telling a runner to take the extra base. I can’t remember if that runner scored on that play, but I imagine that he at least reached third base.
Although I hit the ball pretty poorly, I reached base because I took advantage of an underused right fielder, and I moved a runner closer to home.
Home runs over the outfielders’ heads might be pretty, but hits to the right side do the job, too.